About subtitle translation
Typical translation errors subtitles.
We often and work a lot with the translation of texts for the film and television industry. One of the most common types of translation are subtitles. The rules of any international film festival oblige participants to submit pictures with subtitles. In a large number of countries, subtitles are the main way of translating a film, not an additional one. In Russia, we note, the most popular is dubbing - dubbing by Russian foreign actors. Thus, the viewer loses the original sound range, the replicas are adjusted to foreign articulation (to the detriment of both meaning and style).
Perhaps one of the reasons for this situation in the Russian market (in addition to the habit already developed by the viewer for this type of acquaintance with foreign films) is the poor quality and culture of subtitling.
Additionally, we would like to indicate the most common errors of subtitle translators faced by the customer:
A. Literacy: the translator faithfully and fully translated the entire text.
Result: a huge amount of text on the screen, including unnecessary, often not fitting in the timing of the scene.
B. Literal (especially in translation dialogs)
Verbatim translation of dialogues is a traditional industry problem. Live speech (especially in documentaries) can be both inconsistent and illogical, to the point of utter nonsense. The task of the translator is not just to translate every preposition and interjection, but to preserve the meaning and feeling of the replica. Literacy can do a disservice here, as it will not be clear to a foreign spectator that a character has lost a thread or speaks a ridiculous regional dialect or uses the word parasite characterizing a certain social group of people and so on.
Here the key skill of a professional subtitle translator is to be able to convey not so much the words as the things they say, and so that it is as clear as possible to the foreign a.
Partly echoes the previous point, but concerns any text of the picture: if the realities in question are unknown to the viewer (for example, the historical phenomena of a particular country known only in it), then the translator should take this into account in the translation.
G. Translation by a non-native speaker
There is nothing to comment on here, since we cannot consider such a translation for a given type of text as acceptable. The above errors and shortcomings are discussed only when transferring media. Otherwise, they are still far away - in the foreground will be the problem of semantic errors, inaccuracies of style, incorrect transfer of slang / dialect, and so on.
Read more about ordering translation of subtitles by a native speaker in the corresponding section of the site.
The main thing for which we vouch and what we strive for is the preservation not only of the meaning of the text, but also of the living breath of the film (sorry for pathos). It is an extremely common situation when subtitles interfere and look at the picture, and if they do not interfere, then the energy and feed laid down in the original words completely “reduce”.